Thanks to teacher William McHenry, the students of Carson High School had the opportunity to learn and develop entrepreneurial skills, and showcase them at Shark Tank: high school business class edition.
Forty-five students from McHenry’s business and marketing classes had the task of presenting their entrepreneurship ideas and business plans to a panel of local judges, who can give feedback and professional insight. This years judges featured local partners from In Plain Sight Marketing, Greater Nevada Credit Union, Adams Hub, and Mutual of Omaha. Presentations took place Thursday and are scheduled to continue Friday.
“I was a fan of Shark Tank and so instead of writing out a business plan (like previous classes) I thought we should play this out at school,” said McHenry. “I think so much of school is grind work. School is important but how many are going to use linear systems outside of class? But everyone will deal with money and be somehow involved in business so it’s nice to be able to do something that applies to their lives.”
Ideas ranged from electric roller skates to a gun addition that requires a fingerprint to unlock. Students are competing at a chance to win $250, with one winner per class period. With six classes, that’s $1,500 total.
Evan Cherpeski, a presenting student, said “I’ve always been interested in business, and this class is a great opportunity to explore it. Without Mr. McHenry and his teaching, this class wouldn’t be what it is.”
The students were able to compete in teams of one to three, and had to be taking either McHenry’s Principles of Business and Marketing, Entrepreneurship I or Entrepreneurship II classes.
“I like participating in the program because it gives students real world experience,” said Renne Plain, CEO of In Plain Sight Media, and who has been judging and a sponsor of the event for four years now. “Building a presentation, public speaking, doing the research, this is all something they’ll need in the real world. For me, this is a two-part project. I’m a guest speaker on marketing and present to the students what I want to see from their marketing plans, as well as a judge in the finals. We’ve seen outstanding work from these students and have hired interns from Mr. McHenry’s class.”
Thursday’s grand prize winners were Adhana Galindo and Chloe Walt, presenting GW Essentials (organic make-up); Nina Coe and Rebecca, presenting Howard Over Yonder (southern cuisine food truck); Walker Mackenzie and Evan Cherpeski presenting Trigger Finger (gun safety); Chris Luna and Brayan Rivera, presenting Kirby Dog Poop Vac; and Mariah Hipp and Raelin Wilson, presenting Gold Medal (make-up).
Monetary Sponsors of the event include Greater Nevada Credit Union, Mutual of Omaha, Adams Hub, Youth Positive, and In Plain Sight Marketing.
CHS is the two time defending State Champion at FBLA for Business Plan Competition.
More students will make presentations during the second and final day of their Shark Tank on Friday.